Ever a story... waiting to be told

Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Work!

Cornerstones
18 x 24 Colored Pencil
I don't know about anybody else, but I always go through a period of lostness as soon as  I finish a piece.  It starts during that final stage, when I'm trying to  decide whether or not it's truly finished. I start to doubt everything about it, from the composition, to the subject matter, to the color of the third brick in the tenth row. Sometimes, I have this overwhelming urge to just throw it in the trash and start over.  I can do better, I think to myself, I SHOULD have done it better.
I'm not one of those artists who can put a piece away for a few weeks, or even days, and then come back to work on it again. Once it's declared finished, that's the end of that particular mental journey. I can't go back.  
 I know that in a few months I'll be able to look at the piece more objectively, without seeing all the little areas that I have misgivings about today.  And even if I come to the conclusion that I'm really not happy with it... I will already be engrossed in a new drawing, with the hope and anticipation that maybe THIS one will be the piece that I'd always hoped to create. 
For me, it's the Working-Toward-A-Goal part that I like best of all, not the I'm-All-Finished-Everybody-Look part.  It's the process, not the presentation, that is most gratifying to me.  I think that Poohbear had it right: "Although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called." (AA Milne) 
Luckily, my lostness is going to dissipate quickly, as I have a commission to draw a pen and ink house portrait. I've already started the rough draft, and it's going pretty well...
The process... I'm savoring the process!

20 comments:

  1. OMGosh Katherine! This is a gorgeous piece. The brickwork is perfect and I love how the wind is blowing the curtains out of the windows! Congratulations on a beautiful drawing!!!

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  2. I am like you in that I can't go back to an older piece either. And I rarely repeat a composition. Just do not have the energy for that. That said, that you doubt yourself when you turn out a piece like this...? Amazing to me. I think this is truly phenomenal, Katherine! Your work is always beautiful. And no matter what you think, I thought your oils were amazing too.

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  3. I'm happy to read your post because you lay out my thoughts perfectly! I am always unsatisfied, it is what keeps me painting. Trying to get the perfect painting that I have in my head but never manage to paint. It can be a frustrating way to live, but it's the process I love.

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    1. An amazing piece of artwork Katherine, the details are incredible! You really out did yourself!

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  4. This one is heavy with atmosphere-in a good way! Seems like a lost part of America somehow-something that you remember but can't quite put your finger on.

    The moment of happiness when I am finished is really brief. The parts that last longer are the ones that occur during the planning and painting and then afterwards when I assess what I like/don't like and what I will do next. The whole thing can be tough can't it?

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  5. yes, savor the process and the product too in this piece :) Your dedication and patience makes your incredible talent shine so beautifully!

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  6. This turned out beautiful! I know what you mean about the process, and the self doubting. I think we all go through that.

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  7. The first few lines said a lot to me since I am very much like that, sometimes, I feel the urge for perfection leaves me tired and makes me almost kill what I just crated, but the positive side is that it pushes me more towards learning and doing my best. This is gorgeous Katherine, I am enlarging and enjoying it bit by bit, your thoughts have gone very deep and have left no stone unturned!

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  8. Hey K!

    Cornerstones is the perfect balance of charming and haunting. As always, your attention to detail is extraordinary!

    Love the bricks, books, curtains and the cracks in the sidewalk. The tree, the wood trim, the signage.... I can actually smell the interior of the corner confectionary that I used to visit as a young girl. So nostalgic! BRAVO!!

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  9. I LOVE this one Katherine - you really are just too talented for words!!
    I enjoyed reading about your feelings and could relate to them. I think the cliche that life is a journey, not a destination very much pertains to creating a work of art as well.

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  10. Great drawing, it is quite unsettling too but not in a bad way. Looking forward to seeing your commission of the house when you have completed it.

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  11. Katherine, ese es un dilema que tenemos todos. Pero hay que dar por finalizadas las obras. Defectos existirán siempre.
    Tus trabajos tienen muy pocos defectos, porque cuidas los detalles.
    Un saludo.

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  12. Always these atmospheres between imaginary and reality, it creates a kind of tension, an aura of fantasy, a mystery. One aspect of your painting you have very well described in a previous post and that is present in this work again. It is my opinion.

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  13. Oh my goodness Katherine...this piece is amazing! I love the colors, and the curtains blowing in the breeze! It's also pretty awesome that the little diner sells Reuben sandwiches...yum!

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  14. Katherine - I cannot see one thing wrong with this beautiful piece - your work is always outstanding. The curtains blowing in the wind speak of life going on inside. Makes me wonder about the folks who lived upstairs. Always you create something that speaks to the heart. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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  15. You'd make a very good writer Katherine! Your post says it all so well .It's the journey, the processing. Your work is always a new journey telling it own story and this one is full of nostalgia. Bravo!!!

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  16. I think this is AMAZING and cannot even imagine what would make you doubt such a piece. BUT...I get it. After staring at our work for ???? hours, our eyes can cross and distort what we see so-to-speak. I am so with you on the once it's done, it's done thing. It is impossible to go back.

    I showed my husband your lovely work and he was impressed...and then he said, "she must use some really good pencils". :)

    Have a great day Katherine and thank you for your recent kind words on my blog.

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  17. It's lovely Katherine. I know what you mean, that is why I like working in watercolour or with a time limit, it makes me much happier to let go, and think about what I would improve , putting that to use on the next one. Sorry I haven't visited for a while, thanks for your comments

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  18. Hi Katherine, wow, stunning structures and such a beautiful technique. Beautiful!

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